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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Get Fit with Winter Chores and Fun

Get Fit with Winter Chores and Fun

As the cold and dark of winter sets in, it can be easy to succumb to inactivity. Many people gain anywhere from 5-15 pounds each year during winter. Over a span of even 5-10 years, that can really add up. But the health benefits from increased activity don’t end with a smaller waistline. An active lifestyle also contributes to stronger muscles and bones, a more effective immune system, better cardiovascular health, and even a more positive outlook on life.

If you can’t afford to join a gym, or find traditional workouts boring, there are still plenty of ways to get moving over the winter. Outdoor sports, and even winter chores, can be a great way to stay in shape during colder months. The added weight of coats, long underwear and heavy boots can even enhance the effectiveness of your workout.

Here’s a quick look at the average number of calories burned by just a few common winter activities*:

Winter Chores:
Baking (using manual appliances) – 145
Chopping wood – 430
Ice scraping – 240
Shopping – 155
Shoveling snow – 430
Stacking wood – 360
Using a push snow blower – 320

Winter Sports:
Cross-country skiing – 510
Downhill skiing – 375
Ice fishing – 135
Ice-skating – 425
Sledding – 475
Snowboarding – 430
Snowshoeing – 545

*Estimates are based on the number of calories burned per hour by a 150-pound person. Actual calories burned depends on weight, metabolism, and how vigorously the activity is performed.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.